Really excited for this one!

Hey guess what, I finally made a successful and delicious dish+dinner! You know what is even better? I didn’t use a recipe at all! I can say that I “developed” it on my own to put it in fancy food blogger terms. I think I just now realized that there are two types of cooks. Cooks that cook strictly from cookbooks and recipes, and ones that sort of just throw whatever they have together. Of course, as with anything, there are people who fall in between. It’s not just black and white like that. However, I think that I fall pretty close into the latter group. I tend to cook out of my head.  I look at tons of recipes, and hopefully one day I’ll be good enough to pull those recipes from my head and adjust and tweek them to what I have to cook with. That also explains another reason why I haven’t been using Mark Bittman’s book recently. I know that the recipes in there are supposed to be simple and made with things you have in your pantry, but I often find myself lacking a few key ingredients essential in a lot of the dishes in the book. Of course, my pantry and fridge is different from your pantry and fridge, but it’s also fundamentally different because my family doesn’t really use “western staples”. Many recipes call for lemon, or cheese, or some type of herb that I don’t have. Also, the main ingredient in some of the recipes like certain types of fish or cuts of meat, I don’t have at home. And I can’t just go to the store and buy them whenever since I don’t yet know how to drive, and my mom is reluctant to make that trip just so I can make the dish and take a couple of photos.

So I guess that is my incredibly long excuse for not sticking to my plan and original goal. Come to think of it, that sums up my life pretty well; in fact, I should be studying for my Latin final, instead, I’ve spent an hour and a half cooking and eating and now going to spend another hour blogging and on there blogs.

Anyway, back to my original reason for the post. The food! I’ve always been a big fan of stuffed anything, specifically mushrooms. So, naturally since we had some delicious mushrooms at home, guess what I made?

The best part is, since this is my own recipe, I get to post a recipe on here like bloggers do on those nice, semi-professional food blogs!

Corn and Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms (are recipes capitalized like titles? It seems weird now that I’m actually typing one out myself)

Prep Time: 15 mins ( it took me a lot longer, but for the average person who knows what they’re doing and has read the finished recipe, that seems like a good amount of time)

Cook Time: 45 (total cook time, since there were multiple “sessions” of cooking)

Ingredients: ( is there any particular order to list them in?)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup frozen corn (no need to pre-thaw)

2 slices of regular bakery bread

1/2 cup diced onion

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you’re feeling spicy)

about 20-30 button or crimini mushrooms

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Pellegrini Kitchens Lemon and Cilantro Artichoke Pesto (or any other tapenade/pesto)

Method:

To make the breadcrumbs (my style…probably not correct and very inefficient, but nonetheless still delicious)

1. Place the bread on a baking rack and bake at 375 for about 15 mins or until its crusty and golden brown. But not too brown, don’t burn it. Flip the bread over when half the time has passed to let it brown on both sides.

2. Once it’s done, just crumble it in your fists over a bowl. It should crumble really well into minuscule pieces, just like you grated or processed it. Since the inside of the slice won’t be as crusty, just chop up the rest of your remaining wad of bread and throw it in the bowl. The different textures of the extra crumbly finely “grated” crumbs and the chewy and crusty bits provide good contrast in this dish.

I did my filling and breadcrumbs together. Ignore the sliced onions.

The filling

1. Spread out the frozen corn on a baking sheet and the diced onions. You’ll probably have enough room to do them both at once like I did to save time, but you can do them separately if you wish also. Spread it into an even single layer. Drizzle 1 tbsp of the oil on the onions. Add some salt and pepper and the cayenne if you like. Bake at 375. The corn should be ready when its slightly more golden and  a bit more crusty, which should be about 10 mins. The onions need to stay in longer, about 5 or 10 minutes longer until they’re soft and browned and bubbling in the oil.

2. Combine the onions, corn, breadcrumbs, pesto, parmesan (not all of it, leave a bit for topping at the end, probably a tbsp), and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste, although at this point it was already nicely seasoned for me.

Mushroom Time!

1. Wash and dry your mushrooms well. Hollow them out by pulling out their stems, and then using a small, precise knife, carefully take out the root of the stem still attached in the well of the mushroom. Do so by inserting the knife at a 45 degree angle into one side of the cylindrical stem still remaining in the bottom of the mushroom, and the slowly rotating it around until you’ve made an incision around the entire part. Then just pluck it out.

2. Fill the mushrooms up! A little over the top is fine, just don’t let the stuffing fall out. Then sprinkle on the remaining parmesan and bake in a hot 375 degree oven for about 15 mins, or until the juice from the mushrooms is spilling out from the bottom and the tops of the stuffing look hardened.

Pre-baked mushrooms

There you have it! Hopefully that was helpful, and I explained it in a logical manner. It wasn’t too concise, but it’s okay because I was only aiming for clarity.

Yields about 20-30 mushrooms ( a bit redundant, but every recipe has a yield at the bottom)

I also made some scrambled eggs with our very own tomatoes and green onions from my mom’s backyard garden. I should show you a picture of the garden as it’s still in full bloom now. It’s very pretty.

It’s supposed to be a traditional Chinese tomatoes and eggs stir fry that looks like this:

but I stirred it waayyy too much and I put the green onions into the egg, and I didn’t have enough tomatoes to give the dish its moistness:

*sigh* I’ll have to work on that one, but luckily my mom is a pro at it so I can learn from her!

That’s it for now, phew that was a long post!

 

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